Tuesday, 14 September 2010

a Journey thru Lies and Piracy...

...oh, and an illegal war or two...

Tony Blair has been accused of stealing lines from the 2006 film 'The Queen' for his new memoirs.

Peter Morgan, the screenwriter of the hugely successful British film starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen, said a particularly poignant moment described in Mr Blair's book was actually totally made up for the movie.

Mr Blair claims Queen Elizabeth II told him after Labour's landslide victory in 1997: 'You are my 10th Prime Minister. The first was Winston [Churchill]. That was before you were born'.

The passage in 'A Journey: My Political Life' is said to have angered the Monarch as private encounters with the Royal Family are not usually disclosed to the general public.
Mr Morgan, however, has now claimed the exchange may not have actually taken place at all.

In the 2006 film, directed by Stephen Frears, Helen Mirren, playing the Queen, tells Michael Sheen, playing Mr Blair: 'You are my 10th Prime Minister, Mr. Blair. My first was Winston Churchill.'

Claiming he made the entire conversation up, Mr Morgan said he was surprised to see the quote in Mr Blair's book.

He told the Daily Telegraph: 'I wish I could pretend that I had inside knowledge, but I made up those lines.

Quite sure about that one are you, Tony?


Intriguing questions arose yesterday over some of the anecdotes in Tony Blair's fascinating memoir. Are they the unvarnished truth? Or might Mr Blair have embroidered or misremembered some of the episodes he describes?

The spectre of a little embellishment was raised after striking discrepancies were exposed by the Daily Mail yesterday in the ex-premier's version of his conversations with Princess Diana about his disquiet over her romance with Dodi Fayed. He claimed to have had the tete-a-tete at chequers on July 6th, 1997- some two weeks before the Princess met Dodi.

It cannot be denied that Mr Blair has some form for spinning tall tales. He famously recalled memories of sitting behind the goal at newcastle United's st James's Park football ground in his youth, watching the great centre forward Jackie Milburn play. Unfortunately Milburn retired when Mr Blair was four years old and there was no seating behind the goal at any time in his career.

In another muddled recollection, Mr Blair once said that as a 14-year-old boy he ran away from home and boarded a jet at newcastle airport bound for the Bahamas. An interesting yarn, but actually impossible. There have never been any flights between the two places.

Here, we examine some of the more suspicious anecdotes in his book, A Journey.

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